One recent evening I attended a Baroque concert and was rewarded with not simply music, but a beautiful, celestial experience. “Wild Cosmos Baroque Salon,” presented by Atlas Obscura, wonderfully connected past and present in a modern interpretation of the salons of old.
Brooklyn’s San Damiano Mission made a perfect setting for an evening of beauty, music, and spectacle. This was a night spent under simulated heavens : a warm candlelit glow was nicely complemented by artificial lighting that speckled the beautifully ornamented sanctuary with shimmering stars.
The main attraction – the music – was delightful. The ensemble included authentic Baroque instruments with gut (instead of steel) strings: a harpsichord, violins, and a viola da gamba. The enthusiasm of these talented musicians was quite palpable. They weren’t simply reading and playing notes, but feeling all the varying nuances with their entire being.
Just as I was thinking I could dance, two bellydancers appeared, gracefully twirling and casting a spell on us all. I would have liked to see some authentic Baroque dancing, but the bellydancers matched the hypnotic pull of the music very well.
Forgive my excessively poetic tone, but the entire evening was absolutely spellbinding. The final performance consisted of a harpsichord and electronic composition accompanied by an acrobat performer doing amazing hoop tricks. The acrobat artist, Kelsey Strauch, was mesmerizing and I know I wasn’t the only one with their face frozen in awe. Check out her Instagram page here for a taste.
And somehow I missed the memo that costumes were encouraged. What a bummer, you know, because I have so many seventeenth and eighteenth-century ensembles readily at hand : P
‘Wild Cosmos’ Baroque Salon was a hauntingly beautiful evening that was over far too quickly. It’s now a recent dream I long to revisit.